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Featured Researchers

Prof Céline Yunya Song

Department of Journalism
Director of AI and Media Research Lab

Prof Céline Yunya Song



Prof Céline Yunya Song’s research cuts across global communication, social computing, computer-mediated networks, digital media, cyber-psychology and behaviour. With a particular interest in Chinese and American media and cultures, she has studied extensively (mis)information diffusion, user engagement, social networking affordances, emotion contagion and online incivility.


Prof Song, an Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism, is also the Director of the School of Communication’s Artificial Intelligence and Media Research Lab. A former journalist, Prof Song now finds herself collaborating regularly with computer scientists and social network analysts on cutting-edge interdisciplinary projects. She spent the 2020 academic year at Cornell University in the United States on a Fulbright Scholarship, studying online popular opinions around climate change issues in China and the US. This collaborative project employs novel techniques in natural language processing, machine learning and big data analytics to investigate the change and continuity of online public opinion.


She has published an array of co-edited books and book chapters. Her journal articles have appeared in leading SSCI-Indexed journals, not only in the field of communication, but also in other disciplines. She currently serves as the Editor of Communication & Society, and as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Contemporary Eastern Asia. She is the Award Co-Chairs and Liaison for Hong Kong, Macao & Taiwan of Chinese Communication Association (國際中華傳播學會).


Prof Song’s numerous honours include being a two-time recipient of the prestigious Fulbright award. Her research projects have been awarded a series of internal and external grants, including from the General Research Fund, Quality Education Fund, Public Policy Research Fund, as well as an external grant from the Social Media Lab at Ryerson University, Canada, and CONVERGE COVID-19 Working Group Award, USA. In 2017, she received the HKBU President’s Award for Outstanding Young Researcher.


Prof Song studied at Nanjing University, Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme de Lille (in France), and at the University of California, Berkeley, on a Fulbright scholarship. She obtained her PhD from City University of Hong Kong. At HKBU, Prof Song teaches classes on a variety of topics including social media, social network analysis, international journalism, statistical and qualitative modes of research methods, as well as media and society.



  • International Communication Association Mass Communication Division's Top Faculty Paper Award (2020)
  • The Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Senior Research Scholar Award (2019)
  • HKBU President’s Award for Outstanding Young Researcher (2017)
  • Academic Excellence Award, The Chinese Association for History of Journalism and Mass Communication (2016)
  • The Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Junior Research Scholar Award (2010)
  • Elites in Humanities and Social Science, French Foreign Ministry (2007)


Research Outputs

  • Song, Yunya, Yu-leung Ng, K. Hazel Kwon & Yu Huang. “Toward an integrative model for online incivility research: A review and synthesis of empirical studies on the antecedents and consequences of uncivil discussions online.” Telematics and Informatics 47, 101323 (2020).
  • Song, Yunya, K. Hazel Kwon, Jianliang Xu & Xin Huang. “Curbing profanity online: A network-based diffusion analysis of profane speech on Chinese social media.” New Media & Society (2020). DOI: 10.1177/1461444820905068.
  • Schuldt, Jonathon P., Y. Connie Yuan, Yunya Song & Kai Liu. “Beliefs about whose beliefs? Second-order beliefs and support for China's coal-to-gas policy.” Journal of Environmental Psychology 66, 101367 (2019).
  • Li, Yao-tai, Yunya Song. “Taiwan as ghost island? Ambivalent articulation of marginalized identities in computer-mediated discourses.” Discourse & Society (2019). DOI: 10.1177/0957926519889124.
  • Liu, Leyu, Xin Huang, Jianliang Xu & Yunya Song. “Oasis: Online Analytic System for Incivility Detection and Sentiment Classification.” 2019 International Conference on Data Mining Workshops, 1098-1101 (2019).
  • Song, Yunya & Ran Xu. “Affective ties that bind: Investigating the affordances of social networking sites for commemoration of traumatic events.” Social Science Computer Review 37.3 (2019): 333-354.
  • Ku, Kelly Y. L., Qiuyi Kong, Yunya Song, Lipeng Deng, Yi Kang & Aihua Hu. “What Predicts Adolescents’ Critical Thinking about Real-life News? The Roles of Social Media News Consumption and News Media Literacy.” Thinking Skills and Creativity 33, 100570 (2019).
  • Song, Yunya & Chin-chuan Lee. “‘Collective memories’ of global media events: Anniversary journalism of the Berlin Wall and Tiananmen crackdown in the Anglo-American elite press, 1990–2014.” Journalism 20.11 (2019): 1460-1479.
  • Song, Yunya, Chin-chuan Lee & Zeping Huang. “The news prism of nationalism versus globalism: How does the US, UK and Chinese elite press cover ‘China’s rise’?” Journalism (2019). DOI: 101177/1464884919847143.
  • Song, Yunya & Yu Huang. The Evolving Landscape of Media and Communication in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: City University of HK Press, 2018.
  • Song, Yunya & Ke Zhang (Eds). The Evolving Landscape of Media and Communication in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press, 2018.
  • Huang, Xin, Jiaxin Jiang, Byron Choi, Jianliang Xu & Yunya Song. “PP-DBLP: Modeling and Generating Attributed Public-Private Networks with DBLP.” 2018 IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops (2018): 986-989.
  • Xu, Qian, Nan Yu & Yunya Song. “User Engagement in Public Discourse on Genetically Modified Organisms: The Role of Opinion Leaders on Social Media.” Science Communication 40.6 (2018): 691-717.
  • Zeng, Yuan & Yunya Song. “The social foreign correspondent: reconfiguring journalistic branding research in the age of social media.” Popular Communication 16.4 (2018): 293-308.
  • Song, Yunya & Yi Wu. “Tracking the viral spread of incivility on social networking sites: The case of cursing in online discussions of Hong Kong–Mainland China conflict.” Communication and the Public 3.1 (2018): 46-61.
  • Song, Yunya & Tsan-kuo Chang. “Managing impressions online: Microblogs and the state media’s adaptation of online logics in China.” Journalism 18.8 (2017): 1064-1081.
  • Song, Yunya, Yin Lu, Tsan-kuo Chang & Yu Huang. “Polls in an authoritarian space: reporting and representing public opinion in China.” Asian Journal of Communication 27.4 (2017): 339-356.
  • Song, Yunya & Yin Zhang. “What Can Software Tell Us About Media Coverage and Public Opinion? An Analysis of Political News Posts and Audience Comments on Facebook by Computerised Method.” International Conference on Social Informatics (2017): 230-241.
  • Song, Yunya, Xinyu Dai & Jia Wang. “Not all emotions are created equal: Expressive behavior of the networked public on China's social media site.” Computers in Human Behavior 60 (2016): 525-533.
  • Song, Yunya & Chin-chuan Lee. “Perceiving Different Chinas: Paradigm Change in the “Personalized Journalism” of Elite US Journalists, 1976–1989.” International Journal of Communication 10 (2016): 4460-4479.
  • Song, Yunya & Tsan-kuo Chang. “A new world of spectacle in the post-cold war era: China's central television and its significant other, 1992–2006.” Public Relations Review 42.3 (2016): 465-475.
  • Wu, Ying, Song Yunya & Yong Liu. “Chinese Anti-corruption in Social Media: A Social Network Analysis of Discussions over the Corrupt Officials on Microblogs.” Journalism Bimonthly 4 (2016).
  • Hu, Guang-neng, Xinyu Dai, Yunya Song & Shujian Huang. “A synthetic approach for recommendation: combining ratings, social relations, and reviews.” Twenty-Fourth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (2015).
  • Song, Yunya & Chin-chuan Lee. “The strategic ritual of irony: post-Tiananmen China as seen through the ‘Personalized Journalism’of elite US correspondents.” Media, Culture & Society 37.8 (2015): 1176-1192.
  • Bao, Qing, William K. Cheung, Jiming Liu & Yunya Song. “Inferring latent co-activation patterns for information diffusion.” 2015 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence (2015).
  • Song, Yunya. “Decoding the Chinese media in flux.” Routledge Handbook of Chinese Media. Eds. Rawnsley, Gary D. & Ming-yeh T. Rawnsley. London: Routledge, 2015. 446.
  • Song, Yunya, Yin Lu, Tsan-kuo Chang & Yu Huang. “How the News Media in China Use Opinion Polls Online and Offline: The Emergent Ecology of Participatory Journalism in an Authoritarian Space.” International Communication Association's 65th Annual Conference (2015).
  • Song, Yunya, Yin Lu, Tsan-kuo Chang & Yu Huang. “Participatory journalism in an authoritarian space: How Chinese media use opinion polls online and offline.” (2015).
  • Song, Yunya & Chin-chuan Lee. “Anniversary coverage of Tiananmen and the Berlin Wall in UK and US press, 1990-2013.” (2015).
  • Song, Yunya & Chin-chuan Lee. “Embedded journalism: constructing romanticized images of China by US journalists in the 1970s.” Chinese Journal of Communication 7.2 (2014): 174-190.
  • Song, Yunya & Tsan-kuo Chang. “The news and local production of the global: Regional press revisited in post-WTO China.” International Communication Gazette 75.7 (2013): 619-635.
  • Song, Yunya & Tsan-kuo Chang. “Chang Selecting daily newspapers for content analysis in China: A comparison of sampling methods and sample sizes.” Journalism Studies 13.3 (2012): 356-369.
  • Song, Yunya & Tsan-kuo Chang. “Legitimizing Ruptures of Development Trajectories: Party Press Discourse on Rural Society in Transitional China, 1997–2006.” The International Journal of Press/Politics 17.3 (2012): 316-340.
  • Song, Yunya. “Shifting journalistic paradigms of American correspondents on contemporary China: The case of Orville Schell.” Public Relations Review 38.5 (2012): 796-798.